Thursday, March 8, 2012

Corpses as Bedmates
"Willow Tree"

Corpses as Bedmates
Babaa & Scheibel = 69
(Cow-Op Industries, 1984)

We got this cassette at my college radio station. The band and release name caught my eye, and my ears and brain were immediately transfixed by this bizarre, disturbing, demented, little nursery rhyme of a song. I played it on my show many a time over the years.

Corpses as Bedmates were the augmented duo of Susanne Lewis and Karen Sheridan. The augmentor was Bob Drake, who contributed drums and percussion, in addition to engineering and mixing this recording. By the time of the third and final Corpses as Bedmates album, Venus Handcuffs, Karen was gone and the group was simply Susanne and Bob. In addition, it was pressed on hard, black wax (i.e., vinyl) rather than cassette. Unlike the first two Corpses as Bedmates releases, Venus Handcuffs has since been reissued on CD, but with completely different artwork and the group name changed to Venus Handcuffs. No, I do not know why, and I keep it filed with the C's in my collection, rather than the V's. The second Corpses as Bedmates release, btw, was entitled Halo.

In addition to Corpses as Bedmates, Susanne and Robert were both involved with the Geoffrey Landers LP that I featured here a while back. Bob is also part of the progressive/avant garde group Thinking Plague, for whom Susanne sang for a bit. Susanne and Bob also released a few albums under the name Hail, and Susanne made a couple of albums under the rather odd name of Kissyfur. Most recently, though still a number of years ago, she released a great, eponymous solo album.

I don't know who is responsible for the drawing and poem, but it is from the innermost panel of the cassette cover.

5 biased opinions:

James Von Sutekh said...

Those vocals are giving me a really difficult time. Put someone like Chrissy McGee from Bone Orchard on vocals and this could have been quite brilliant.

Lightning Baltimore said...

Part of the appeal for me is the singers sound like severely mentally unbalanced teenage girls. Based on the one Bone Orchard song I've heard, Chrissy has a good voice, but I don't see her being able to pull off sounding like a completely unhinged child.

Regardless, thanks for commenting!

James Von Sutekh said...

While we're on the subject, Bone Orchard has just put out a very good retrospective "Stuffed to the Gills and Other Fishy Tales" (Jungle Records, 2011). As a Birthday Party fan, I strongly suggest you pick it up. Think Birthday Party with jazz influences and a female vocalist and you're pretty much on the money.
You can download from both Amazon and iTunes, but the hard copy also comes with a DVD with promo videos and live footage.

Holly said...

Have you heard Hail/Snail, Susanne's collaboration with Azalia Snail? It's pretty good!

Lightning Baltimore said...

I've heard of Hail/Snail, but I don't believe I ve actually heard any of their stuff.